I pride myself on being a Disney pro. I know all the places to go hide from the heat, the times to ride certain rides, the times to avoid certain rides, where to find the best snacks, the best places to find certain characters, etc. If you have a Disney question, I’m your girl. I considered myself educated on Universal Orlando Resort, I know the rides that you can and can’t do with kids. I know where to meet characters, where to eat, where to find the 7 different types of Butterbeer (comment below if you know what the different types are), which rides are in which parks but I made such a rookie mistake during my last visit, I rushed. I usually travel with 2 adorable little gremlins that happen to be incredibly short, they can’t ride anything, including most of the “kiddie” roller coasters. So when I happened upon the opportunity to spend part of a day in Universal Orlando Resort alone, I jumped on it. I was so excited to be able to ride all the rides, including Velocicoaster, that I rushed from ride to ride to wait in line after line. Did I check all the things off of my list? Sure, but I failed to slow down and truly take in the parks. When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened Universal succeeded in creating one of the most immersive theme park experiences ever. If you rush through both Hogsmeade and Dragon Alley you’re doing yourself a disservice. There are so many hidden easter eggs, so much attention to detail that you don’t get the full experience if you’re just running through to go ride Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure or Escape from Gringott’s.
In Toon Lagoon I didn’t get a chance to see all of the hidden interactive features. In Marvel Superhero Island we didn’t hang out long enough to meet our favorite superheroes. We missed performances over in Universal Studios and didn’t get to take in all the different nods to cities we know and love. Overall it was a fantastic day at Universal Orlando Resort, but I definitely feel like a return trip is necessary in order to better experience the parks. As a professional travel planner, my recommendation is to do more than one day at Universal Orlando Resort, there is simply too much to do to get it all done in one day. If you’re interested in hitting both sets of parks in the Orlando Area, try splitting your stay and spending a few days at Universal Orlando Resort before switching to a resort at the other magical parks. A professional travel planner can assist you in making arrangements to split your trip and still have it be a seamless experience.
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